Fearing that it would lose its price competitiveness, Mazda has canceled plans for a high-power Mazdaspeed3 Evolution. Mazda says that if it outfits the new Speed3 with 300hp and all-wheel drive, the price would be set beyond its demographic.
Mazda seemingly doesn't want what happened with its third-generation RX7 to repeat itself. It can be recalled that the RX7, a brilliant coupe, arrived in the US as a 1993 model.
It was a thoroughbred sports car, with 252-hp from its twin-turbo 1.3L rotary, a track-ready suspension, and a limited-slip differential.
It was awarded 'Import Car of the Year' but the problem was that it was priced at $30,000. Interest was high but sales were so low that it left the country after the 1995 model. Reportedly, Mazda already had the parts for a higher spec Speed3.
The hatchback's transmission is the same unit found in the departed Mazdaspeed6, and all-wheel drive is reportedly easily adaptable. It isn't just Mazda that is facing this issue.
Mitsubishi and Subaru have also faced the same concerns for the Lancer Evo and WRX STI. Mazda doesn't have much to worry about considering that with 263-hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, the Mazdaspeed3 beats its competition on output.